THIS is the bombshell moment detectives warn ex-gangster Paul Ferris in a hotel’s VIP room that someone is out to kill him.
Video footage shows the two cops issuing an official threat-to-life notice at the break in a question-and-answer session attended by a crowd of 500.
But rather than react in panic, the hardman, 58, dismisses claims he’s at risk of assassination and spurns the officers’ offer of help.
Tonight Ferris told The Scottish Sun on Sunday he was sure the alert was a fake — sparked by a call to police by a member of the audience at the event in Glasgow’s plush Crowne Plaza hotel.
He said: “There is a need for people to get warned, such as, ‘Something is going to happen, your life is going to get ended, do you need any assistance?’
“But I don’t need any of that. I’ve survived this long on my own.”
The chilling images were captured by snapper Brian Anderson, during the interval of A Night With Paul Ferris: The Final Chapter, hosted by podcaster James English.
It’s believed to be the first time the alert, known as an Osman warning, has been caught on camera.
The video shows the CID officers revealing they are at the hotel to issue a “threat-to-life warning notice”.
One tells Ferris: “I’m here to inform you information has been received that you are under real and immediate risk of harm.
“I’m advising you to consider taking reasonable action with a view to ensuring your safety.
“This warning does not justify you committing any criminal acts.
“Should you indulge in any acts of criminality you’ll be dealt with by the police in the same manner as any other suspected offender.”
He adds: “If you wish police assistance, please tell me now. I’ll do my best to assist.”
Ferris is told he can contact the police “any time”.
But he refuses to sign the paperwork associated with the warning and declines the offer of help.
Detectives reveal the threat came at 9.30pm, about 15 minutes before they arrived to raise the alarm.
But Ferris tells them he is sceptical. He says: “It’s funny I’m here in Glasgow. This is a bit spurious. I fully accept what you’re saying. I respect the fact you’re from Police Scotland.”
But he adds: “I’ve not had any engagement with Police Scotland for many, many years — and hopefully I will continue that.
“I will take on board the security elements, I always do anyway. But what you’ll find is the source of your information is spurious and is trying to spike an event.
“You can evaluate the risk factor — is it low, medium, self- generated, or whatever?
“I’m sure you are men of the world and know exactly. It just so happens to be an event and there is a threat to life. I appreciate the fact that you guys are doing your job.”
Ferris then shakes the officers’ hands before returning to the stage for the second half of the £85-a-head event — after discussions with hotel management about the threat.
Tonight Ferris told how he believes it was a disruption tactic — similar to one around 16 years ago when armed officers turned up at one of his book-signing sessions.
He always felt that was a ruse. And he felt the latest death threat in March was aimed at shutting down his show.
Ferris said: “It has to be somebody sitting in the audience who made that call on the basis they didn’t like what I was saying.
“If Police Scotland had tried to spike it they would have closed the hotel down. That’s what I said to James four months before it. I said, ‘This is liable to get shut down.’
“My gut instinct tells me it has nothing to do with Police Scotland.”
Ferris believes someone was riled by things he was saying about three late gangsters and didn’t want the second half to go ahead.
He said: “I was talking about collusion with police corruption, including Arthur Thompson senior, Arthur Thompson junior and Tam McGraw, who were the biggest dealers in flesh in Glasgow.
“They worked hand in hand with the police.”
Ferris — who was cleared in 1992 of murdering Thompson Jnr after a sensational 54-day trial — defied the warning to finish the show then mix with the audience. He even stayed overnight at the same hotel.
He explained: “If I believed any fragment of that was true, why was I sitting downstairs in broad daylight having breakfast then going outside and having a beer and chatting for about an hour? People were approaching me saying, ‘Paul, it was a great night, is there any way we could get more pictures’.”
Ferris claimed Osman warnings are open to abuse. He said: “There is a need to look at them.
“Somebody buys a £10 phone, makes a call and throws it in the bin. It’s open to severe abuse and is also used as a disruption tactic.”
Asked if he was scared, he said: “As a ten-year-old kid I got severely bullied. When people want to talk about fear and apprehension, I suffered that on a daily basis. Not maybe physically but mentally I did.
“I decided I can’t get frightened. The fear left me. I’d been frightened so much that it’s gone.
“I’m not saying I’m brave or physically capable of doing all these things. I’ve just gone through a lot in my life where not a lot of things faze me.”
Ferris insisted he wouldn’t be put off taking part in similar events.
He added: “I’m not that easily persuaded not to do things like that. If an opportunity comes up that’s lawful then I’ll be there.”
Now a business consultant living in London, Ferris was released from prison in 2002 after being found guilty of trading in firearms and possessing explosives. He has published four books and a film about him, The Wee Man, starring Martin Compston, was released in 2013. A follow-up, with the working title Villains: It Takes One to Know One, is in the pipeline.
Tonight Mr Anderson, 54, who captured the footage, said: “This is the first Osman warning ever caught on camera.
“As soon as it happened Paul went out for a cigarette. I thought, ‘I’m not going out there, mate.’ But he was really calm.”
Pics of the warning being read out to Ferris will feature in a new book by Mr Anderson about the former gangster, called Notorious.
Police Scotland don’t comment on individual Osman warnings.
A spokesman said: “We will take all reasonable steps to protect the lives of people where there is a real and immediate risk to them.
“Threat-to-life warnings, personal safety advice and disruption notices are issued for a number of reasons.”
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